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On November 3, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson defeated Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater. Actually, defeated isn't quite strong enough. Drubbed. Routed. Beat like an dirty rug. President Johnson took 44 states and the District of Columbia. Goldwater picked up just 38% of the vote and took in five southern states where whites turned out, not for him, but in protest of the Civil Rights movement. Goldwater did hold his home state—by less than half a percent.  Four years later, the new leader of the conservative movement—Ronald Reagan—barely managed to nab a single state in the primaries. By any objective measure, attempts to build a new, conservative Republican Party had failed. Only there was Reagan again, challenging for the top slot in 1976 and nearly defeating President Gerald Ford. The move concerned many in the party. It was clear that the conservatives were gaining influence in Republican primaries, but GOP leadership worried that Reagan's positions were "fringe" and "extreme"—the sort of policy that would lead to another Goldwater-style defeat in the general elections.

Four years later, Reagan captured 44 states in the primary (the other six going to party insider and eventual VP candidate, George Bush), matching his eventual win in the general election. When his formerly moderate VP took the throne at the end of Reagan's two terms, it was with a conversion to conservative positions.  Since then, the story of the Republican Party has been not just a steady drift to the right, but an increasing demand for purity.  

Republicans, in spite of defeat of conservative candidates previous to 1980, and despite seeing success with candidates that held more moderate positions, continually pulled in the drawstrings on their tent, insisting on an every narrower range of ideological positions from their candidates. This was even more true after defeats in the last two decades. Republicans have not assumed that their candidates failed to win election because they were too conservative; they've constantly assumed that any failures come from not being conservative enough. The result has been that moderate and liberal Republicans (yes, that species did once exist) are all but extinct.

Meanwhile, Democrats suffered their own defeats, in 1972 when Sen. George McGovern lost to the incumbent Nixon, and in 1984 when Walter Mondale challenged Reagan at the height of his popularity and lost. Both were tough defeats. Solid ass whoopins within a point or two of Goldwater's shellacking.

Since then, the pattern of Democratic and Republican presidencies has nearly mirrored the results following the Goldwater, but it's not possible to look inside the Democratic Party and chart a similar rise of progressive values. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Rather than seeking political purity, Democrats instead have sought the magic value of "electability," which was often read as leaning toward many of the same pro-corporation positions as Republicans. Whether it was "tough on crime" or "business friendly," there were few Republican policies where Democrats didn't say "me too!"

Democrats have rushed to join Republicans on issues ranging from market deregulation to welfare reform. The result is that whether we'd talking about Pentagon funding or health care, the entire argument happens within an idea space that used to be completely held by Republicans. Progressives don't want to believe that the nation has become more conservative, but it has.  Democrats made it that way.

Year by year, as the Republican Party has occupied fewer and fewer moderate positions, compromise with the Republican Party has mean incorporating into the Democratic Party positions that are right of center. Sometimes far to the right. In a sort of Zeno's Paradox of Politics, halfway to the Republicans is a point that's constantly shifting away, and reaching it requires ever more compromise of the original Democratic position.

Democrats have made that compromise. Rather than reading the defeats of McGovern, Carter, or Mondale as a call to solidify their core strategy, they took them as a sign that you should never be too forthright, too detailed, too liberal in your positions. They took it as a sign that only by watering down your support for labor, could you avoid the stigma of being anti-business. Only by accepting that money is inseparable from speech, could you gain the funds you needed to be competitive. Only by shying from specific solutions and hiding behind vague platitudes could you avoid either boring or offending the public. Only by denying the positions that had lifted the country out of Depression and brought it success in war war and prosperity in peace, could you avoid the dreaded label of liberal.

This approach is not necessarily bad politics, at least in the short term. A good case can be made that Democratic officeholders were able to sustain themselves in several areas by adopting many Republican positions, when several of them might have been ousted if they had held stubbornly to progressive New Deal / Great Society positions. There were waves on the horizon, and most Democratic politicians decided it was easier to surf than hold firm.

However, by many measures Democrats have been much less successful over the last thirty years than they were in the thirty that came before. Much less dominant. That's true both at the federal level and at the state level. Portions of the electorate once solidly in the 'D' column now have a hard time finding advantage in selecting a party other than the one their boss tells them to pick, because the middle class policies that the Democrats once evinced have mutated into "business-friendly" variations on GOP positions. In chasing compromise with a Republican Party that considers compromise a sign of weakness, Democrats have handed away something far more valuable than seats in Congress or even terms in the White House. They've lost meaning.

Chasing the Republicans may not be bad politics, but it is certainly bad policy.

Democrats should not hold progressive positions because they are fashionable, we should be progressives because progressive policy works. The've been proven to work time and time again. Furthermore, conservative policy has been a failure. It failed this time, last time, and every time.

Democrats should not be detailed and honest in their policies because its what the public wants, we hiding actions behind slogans and failing to tell people what they are actually voting for and against is not democracy at all. It's just lying writ large.

The truth is that higher taxes on the wealthy and increased regulation of banks and corporations is necessary not to please a polity, but to save the country. We had better do it, and we had better do it fast, if we want to avoid being drawn over a fiscal cliff far more real than the one currently being talked up on Sunday Mornings.

The Democratic Party can not afford to be moderate, not in a time when moderation means accepting policies that have proven to be disastrous. The Republicans have shown that a small engine of puritans can easily drag a whole train load of poltroons. It's way past time to apply the brakes. Whether it's the economic calamity or the wars overseas, the answer is not a more moderate form of conservative positions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yep. (15+ / 0-)

    Ain't much more to say than that. Just, "Yep."

    The Zeno's Paradox reference was a nice touch, and entirely apropos.

    "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

    by Geenius at Wrok on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:34:00 AM PDT

    •  Xeno, not Zeno (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nimbus

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:04:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The role of money (7+ / 0-)

      If there is something to add to this article, it is that the movement of the democratic party towards the right away from progressive policies occurred as part of an intentional effort on the demcoratic party to appeal to big money donors.  

      In order to gain the support of wealthy and corporate donors that can pony up the big bucks that became increasingly necessary to win modern American elections, it was necessary to have policies that were friendly to big business - like fewer banking regulations and a petroleum-centric energy policy - policies that at the same time were hurtful to union voters who once were the big money supporters of the democratic party.

      In seeking to win elections by appealing to wealthy and corporate interests, the democrats have largely supplied the rope with which they hang themselves.  These democratic policies resulted in Clinton's electoral success, AND the passage of Gramm-Leach- Bliley (revoke the Glass-Steagall act, and causing many of the conditions for the 2008 financial crash), and passage of free-trade agreements that sent jobs out of America.

      This republicanization of the democratic party alienates many would-be democratic supporters.  When voters were offered a change from conservative policies in 2008, they came out and voted in droves.  Today, liberal voters are motivated by a great dislike of Romney, rather than by support for an administration that presided over the third term of Gw Bush.  

      Ultimately, it is a system of government that allows the wealthy to buy the laws and law-makers they want, and the democratic party's complicity in creating that system of government, that is doing the greatest damage to progressive ideas and policies and the democratic party itself.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 10:06:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why? (10+ / 0-)
    Whether it was "tough on crime" or "business friendly," there were few Republican policies where Democrats didn't say "me too!"

    Democrats have rushed to join Republicans on issues ranging from market deregulation to welfare reform.

    Great diary - and perfect for Sunday morning coffee.  But why the non-stop "yes, yes" from the Democrats all these years?

    "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

    by KateCrashes on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:37:27 AM PDT

    •  Well, okay... that was passive aggressive, sorry (9+ / 0-)

      I'll just say it.  What makes "yes, yes" seem like good politics is that's what Big Money wants.  It's got less to do with pandering to the right (which works very poorly given their purity fixation) and a lot to do with serving the overlords.

      "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

      by KateCrashes on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:39:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Propaganda sways voters. So politicians have (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Subterranean, Alice Olson

        to kowtow to the propagandists.

        Vote Tea Party Taliban! Bring the Burqa to America.

        by Pescadero Bill on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:18:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We can't discount the influence of the moderate (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TexasTom, llywrch, rbird, Alice Olson

        and liberal Republicans who have left the GOP and found a home among the Democrats, either. Most of those moderates did not just become more right wing; most of them fled a party they no longer understood. But in joining with the Dems., they had an influence on dem positions, as well.

        •  As a former moderate Republican let me (16+ / 0-)

          say that as a Democrat I have moved further left than the leadership of this party. Today's democratic Party is further to the right than Chuck Percy, Nelson Rockefeller, Everett Dirksen and Robert LaFollette. As I have seen the past 30 years play out I am more convinced than ever that we need to re-establish the New Deal. And the War on Poverty. And make it easier for people to vote. And radical campaign finance reform that publicly finances elections. And re-establish strict control over banks.

          The past thirty years have been a failure. And we as Democrats are partly responsible. Because we gave up on our values. Progressivism works. It brings prosperity to nation.

          •  The republican party of 1956 was far left... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bisbonian, zinger99, wonmug

            to the current republican party in many ways:  (emphasis mine)

            Republican Party Platform of 1956..."Our Government was created by the people for all the people, and it must serve no less a purpose....

             "The legitimate object of Government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do, for themselves in their separate and individual capacities...

            Our great President Dwight D. Eisenhower has counseled us further: "In all those things which deal with people, be liberal, be human...

            ...We shall ever build anew, that our children and their children, without distinction because of race, creed or color, may know the blessings of our free land...

            ...We are proud of and shall continue our far-reaching and sound advances in matters of basic human needsexpansion of social security—broadened coverage in unemployment insurance —improved housing—and better health protection for all our people. We are determined that our government remain warmly responsive to the urgent social and economic problems of our people..."

            That republican party is gone, having gone far to the right.  Unfortunately, IMHO, the current Democratic party has moved to the right in many ways, too.  

        •  Both of them? Most stayed and simply (0+ / 0-)

          became invisible. That's why the Dems haven't run away with electoral politics.

          That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

          by enhydra lutris on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 09:30:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Like Obama's "fix" for social security? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        enhydra lutris, Illinibeatle

        Made possible by  Simpson-Bowles  to give him bipartisan cover?
        There should be more outrage from the progressive caucus about this before the election.

    •  Why? They've bought (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      orlbucfan, jm214, drewfromct, TracieLynn

      more votes" while also saying "well, why shouldn't I be rich, too?" and there's really only one place to go get lots of money for politics and for a prosperous life-style while in, and after being in, office.

      I think there's an old-fashioned word for it: Corruption.


      The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

      by Jim P on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:46:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Because (4+ / 0-)

      over the last 30+ years we've seen the corporate "Liberal" media responding to the backlash over the "permissive" 1960's by moving further and further backwards (I refuse to apply the word "Right" when referring to those who are very wrong) and that backward slide in the national conversation went into overdrive when Reagan repealed the Fairness Doctrine and allowed the media to become saturated with Ultra-Wingnut backward extremism. The rapid rise of Rush Limbaugh and his army of imitators has lowered the consciousness of the nation and put us back by decades.

      Remember the maxim that "The bigger the lie, the easier it is to believe it", along with the principle of "Rinse and repeat". Huge lies, constantly repeated, have brainwashed huge numbers of voters and consumers.

      There's a lot more to it than that, but forgive me for jumping ahead to the bottom line.

      Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

      by drewfromct on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:29:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One oversimplification in this article is (0+ / 0-)

      that until the late 1970, both parties had sizable left & right wings. There were a number of Democrats outside the South who were, frankly, as pro-business, reactionary, & racist as many current Tea Party Republicans.

      One example is Bob Duncan (OR-3, 1974-1980), who was to the right of any present Blue Dog Democrat. He was noted for being pro-Timber industry & such a notorious supporter of the Vietnam War that the liberal Democrat Wayne Morse took the extreme action of supporting his liberal Republican opponent, Mark Hatfield. Now this was a true example of bipartisanship.

      The right wing of the Democratic party disappeared in part due to the Republican "Southern Strategy", in part due to Democrats defecting to the Republican side of the aisle (Zell Miller & Joe Lieberman were only some of the last of these turncoats), & to the broader realignment of the two major parties along political lines rather than historical coalitions.

      Unlike the modern Republican party, the Democratic party still has moderate & conservative wings reflected in its wider diversity & lack of a serious litmus test. (Yes, we throw around the term "DINO", but not in the way or frequency the other party uses "RINO".) Which is another reason that the Dems are better positioned for long-term survival than the contemporary Republican party.

  •   November 3, 1963 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, linkage

    You're a year off. Election was in 1964.

  •  Elected 3 Weeks Before JFK Was Shot? nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, linkage, fladem

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:39:07 AM PDT

  •  1964. Not 1963. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, linkage

    Oops.

  •  The Segment of the Electorate We're Up Against (19+ / 0-)

    Thinks we can all have our own ponies whether obtaining them makes any sense at all. Republicans spoonfeed a constant diet of cheerleader styled optimism distracting enough people from noticing what the score is to get them into office. The truth is hard to deal with for some because it often sucks. Whether it's the economy or the environment, too many voters hate the medicine enough to refuse taking in favor of another bag of empty calories packaged like real policy.

    This head movie makes my eyes rain.

    by The Lone Apple on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:41:34 AM PDT

    •  Great analysis in one line. (13+ / 0-)

      "the truth is hard to deal with for some because it often sucks." I think this has been a major driver of our politics for a very long time. Compound it with "Big Lies" which appeal to people's fears and you can push a part of the electorate wherever you want them to go.

    •  I think your comment (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mike101, VigilantLiberal, Egalitare

      misses the fact that most people are living paycheck to paycheck, and simply don't think they can afford anything else.

      That is their truth - which I don't think some progressives are very good at understanding.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:20:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Does "keeping more of your own money"... (4+ / 0-)

        ...make you "better off? "

        I'm not sure that's true for the highest income citizens, let alone the vast majority of us. Yet that assumption is foundational to the way many of us process political decisions.

        If I no longer have school aged children, is spending on Public Schools in my "personal interest?" What if I no longer drive: is traffic control and enforcement? Or if I no longer travel: air traffic control or rail inspections? Maybe I'm some altruistic oddball, but all those things make a level of life quality around me possible, and I live in a community. I don't have to attend any Symphony performance to support public underwriting of the local Orchestra. Or be a commuter to support expansion of the local transit system.

        At the end of the day, I might have less disposable income and - because of adequately funded, well managed Commons - be "better off." I really do suspect that is true for most of us at a higher level of income that defies "Conventional Wisdom."

        When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Egalitare on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 09:11:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Then They Vote Against Themselves (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Free Jazz at High Noon

        Living in a world of shit while voting for those people who pile more shit on your head doesn't even reflect a basic human drive for self-preservation.

        This head movie makes my eyes rain.

        by The Lone Apple on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 09:44:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  One can deny it all one wants (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RuralLiberal, The Lone Apple

      But the fact is that this election is so close because so many people see beyond partisanship and look at policy. Obama has done himself no favors in too many areas: Expanding the use of drones, putting the drug and insurance companies in charge of healthcare, signing on to warrantless wiretaps and searches, his DOJ going after pot smokers instead of the bankers who blew up the economy, his continuing refusal to state unequivocally that he won't sign a bill that cuts social security or raises the retirement age, his refusal to say the same about medicare, etc. Many of these policies are the same ones we used to bash the wanking chimp and Darth Cheney about. He's done some fine things and he's got my vote but I won't deny that I'm voting against Rmoney more than I'm voting for Obama. Many people who see too little daylight between the two are just going to stay home. People can't get excited about "I suck less". Look at 2010.

      "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

      by MargaretPOA on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 10:32:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And, in 1976, Ford narrowly defeated Reagan... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    linkage

    In the primaries, not the other way around.

    •  But there was a huge floor fight (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      llywrch

      at the 76 convention and Reagan supporters stayed home in that election. There is a real mean spiritedness in conservative Republicans.A lot of Reagan supporters, encouraged by Reagan staff members decided that if it could not be Ronnie they would take their football and go home.

      Similar to 80 and Carter v Kennedy.

      •  And Nixon's fall adds to that bitterness (0+ / 0-)

        At the time,  members of both parties were offended by Nixon's crimes, however the RWNJ have managed to reinterpret his impeachment & resignation as nothing more than a political hit job, & used it to rationalize their contemporary behavior.

        There was also the immediate fallout that Nixon, coming from the moderate wing (e.g, those not backing either Goldwater or Reagan) of the Republican party harmed those Republicans: Republicans from moderate & liberal districts were defeated in the1974 & 1976 elections, decimating their ranks.

  •  Progressive or regressive (14+ / 0-)

    Very simply stated- progressive policies work for governing the country as a democracy, regressive policies work for governing as a plutocracy.

    "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

    by US Blues on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:44:02 AM PDT

  •  Because we let them make "liberal" a bad word (19+ / 0-)

    Because in 1976 we had a Presidential primary much like the Republicans had this year (without the stupidity and craziness) and we nominated the centrist who won reelection (because of McGovern, may he rest in peace) because people who LIKED Ford couldn't get past his pardon of Nixon. And then because Carter's advisers, who he had picked from the inner circles of Georgia politics, couldn't figure out how to run against St. Bonzo.

    We're still paying the price.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent, and we are all Wisconsin.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:44:47 AM PDT

    •  This was also the election (25+ / 0-)

      where the American voters chose a pony instead of facing up to our oil consumption habit - with the now clear 'benefit' of added climate change thrown in. Please let's not forget that voters chose the shiny thing instead of the responsible thing. Before this - I used to have faith in the 'good sense of the people' - nowadays I can't forget when we had the choice - we chose wrong.

      30 years ago, Carter told us the truth - about changing our lifestyle, our too big consumption. We didn't want to hear it. We went for the SUVs - the Hummers. It's as if we put our fingers in our ears and went 'lalala' They still to this day try to make fun of Carter. We STILL do not get it.

      Keep constant watch on your mind. - Dalai Lama

      by redstella on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:55:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Amercan voter (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jm214, kyril, Subterranean, llywrch

        chose the shiny thing because they didn't want to come out and vote for the leader of Operation Eagle Claw, the failed hostage rescue. (Much the same way progressives didn't get out to vote in 2010.) Some times one single event can throw an election, and the Cons have been running on it ever since.
        Carter's failed bid included my first vote for a president. I console myself with how his life after the presidency compares with others.

        •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
          (Much the same way progressives didn't get out to vote in 2010.)
          Bassackwards. Progressives turned out in force. Conservadems didn't support their own and didn't rally their kind, hence and their candidates went down in flames. Just look at who lost.

          That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

          by enhydra lutris on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 09:39:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  "Liberal" is an ambivalent word (0+ / 0-)

      In the sphere of economics, "liberal" and "neoliberal" can have meanings quite at odds with the commonly accepted political definition.  Specifically, they refer to laissez-faire economics as touted by the likes of Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand.  Then, there's the old Phil Ochs song, "Love Me, I'm a Liberal."

      I'm a lot more comfortable with "progressive."  No ambivalence there; we support progress. Now, we just need to get the Democrats on the same page, or at least the same chapter.

       

      See the children of the earth who wake to find the table bare, See the gentry in the country riding out to take the air. ~~Gordon Lightfoot, "Don Quixote"

      by Panama Pete on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 09:09:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  First of all Carter did not win re-election (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rhauenstein

      in 76. Second Carter faced a revolt in his own party lead by Teddy Kennedy. Third Carter made few campaign appearances because of the Iran hostage crisis. Look up the Rose Garden strategy. Carter felt that he needed to be seen as doing everything humanly possible to get the hostages home. And being out on the campaign trail would appear like he was not taking the crisis seriously. Lets also remember the October surprise Where people in the Reagan campaign reached out to the Iranians and offered cooperation in exchange for a little delay. Reagan did not free the hostages. The hostages were freed the moment Reagan became President. But no one from the Reagan administration had anything to do with the official negotiations.

      Carter made mistakes. Not doing health care reform was one of them. Supporting the Shah was another. But lets get the record straight shall we.

      •  sorry, but it's that you can't edit comments (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annieli

        and yes, there was no re-election in 1976 on either side. I am properly chastised.

        But I see you're not arguing my point about the most centrist candidate, who then went on to make mistakes. I don't think I've done violence to the "record" here.

        -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent, and we are all Wisconsin.

        by Dave in Northridge on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 09:44:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are basically right about Carter being a (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dave in Northridge

          centrist. That had a lot to do with what he saw as corruption in Georgia politics when he ran for his first election. There is an excellent documentary on Carter on PBS and I think it is on the web site.

          Carter's education was technical. He was not trained in the legal profession. He wanted to be a career Naval officer. But the death of his father brought him home to run the family business. Carter's spiritual nature also gave him a very rigid sense of right and wrong and a dislike of compromising with the legislature. The demands of foreign policy must have caused severe cognitive dissonance. His call for respect of human rights and his support for the Shah is a great example of having to talk out of both sides of one's mouth.

          Deregulation was wrong. The deregulation of air travel has not been positive and deregulation of banking was worse. But economic theory had shifted, for the worse into an embrace of Milton Friedman's ideas about monetary policy. Economics has only gotten worse since. And Carter inherited an economy that had been dragging since Nixon's first term. High unemployment, sluggish growth, and high inflation combined with the energy crisis made America miserable. Of course with Reagan we got exploded government debt and massive inflation.

      •  1980, not '76 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annieli

        Carter won his first term in '76.  He got punk'd in 1980 by Oliver North's failed hostage rescue mission.

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 10:09:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  From an Oregon maverick (9+ / 0-)
    "I have followed the philosophy that the primary duty of a representative of a free people in a parliamentary body is to exercise an honest, independent judgement in accordance with the facts as he finds them."
    Senator Wayne Morse
    Sen. Morse was first a republican, then an independent and then a democrat. When he became an independent, he moved his desk on the floor of the senate into the aisle.

    He was one of two senators to vote against the Gulf of Tonkin resolution.

    White-collar conservatives flashing down the street, pointing their plastic finger at me..

    by BOHICA on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:46:05 AM PDT

  •  Good post but, (13+ / 0-)

    I would put the democratic embrace of "me too" conservatism and "business friendly" policies to the ascension of Jimmy Carter.  It was Jimmy Carter who introduced the nation to Southern style labor policies when he busted the truckers' union with deregulation.   Carter repeated threw the Labor base under the bus during his presidency, and introduced Supply side economics to Washington.

    Gary Hart, and his "New Ideas" held a deep antipathy toward Labor, partial from the "New Politics" of the 1960s and the way that labor turned on McGovern due to his stance toward the Vietnam War.

    We then had Clinton who gave us Nafta, and Now we have Barack Obama about to enact a "Grand Bargain" who is going to enact deficit reduction by cutting benefits for Social Security.

    As Pogo used to say "we have met the enemy, and they is us."  If you've never heard of Walt Kelly's Pogo comic strip look it up.

    "The working class mind is strange and unpredictable" -- Ty Lookwell

    by Illinibeatle on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:46:36 AM PDT

    •  Did he not get the message? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, linkage

      Barack's been standing tall of late opposing extremist Republican positions.  Are you saying he's just like Romney with his "say anything" campaign?

      Even Democrats can be asses. Look at Rahm Emanuel.

      by Helpless on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:51:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, he's better (7+ / 0-)

        I just look at what Obama has consistently said since 2009.  I look at the personnel with which he has surrounded himself.

        I suggest that you sign Russ Feingold's, the Obama campaign's, co-chair's petition targeting Republicans who want to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid here

        While you are at it, got sign Bernie Sanders' petition and see if your Senator has signed Senator Sanders letter pledging to fight cuts to Social Security and document whether he is on board or not.

        Of course Barack Obama is much better than Mitt Romney, just like Obama ended the worst of George Bush's foreign policies.  I support candidate who align with my principles, I don't realign my principles to fit a candidate.

        "The working class mind is strange and unpredictable" -- Ty Lookwell

        by Illinibeatle on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:20:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The President is the one consistently raising the (5+ / 0-)

        possibility.

        He created the catfood commission.

        So no, he's not like Romney.  He has consistently reminded everyone that he does intend to cut SS.

        Any progressives who claim shock when he eventually does institute SS cuts, have willfully deluded themselves.

        What's wrong under Republicans is still wrong under Democrats.

        by gila on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:23:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He wants to solve the problem. He hasn't (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TexasTom, llywrch

          "given away the store".
          He wants to cut the defense budget, end the tax cuts for the rich, have comprehensive immigration reform (which will greatly impact SS and medicare/medicaid for the better), restore the middle class economy, etc.

          All of these things will have a positive impact on SS and Medicare.

          He wants to change the narrative in this country that government can work, can solve problems, be responsive, agile, adroit, adaptive. The polls show one thing: Dems and especially progressive are going to have to work harder and fight harder to convince and persuade Americans of the very things the diarist says, that we here at DKos know to be true.

          Office holders have to be true to their oaths of office and serve the entire nation. They have to work with people who don't agree with them.
          At the same time Dems need to develop some killer instinct and strategic discipline. Progressives have to persevere and be persistent and stay in it for the long haul, in the way that the religious right has stuck with it.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:50:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. Since Carter, Dems have pushed Repubs. (4+ / 0-)

      Since Carter, big money has used major segments of the Democratic Party to push Republicans to the right.

      Look at the bat-shit loonies that Republicans run in New York State, for example - if they ran as 1950's style Northeastern conservatives, they'd have very little to distinguish themselves from Schumer.

      •  Cannot be said enough (0+ / 0-)

        When democrats embrace GOP policies, like Obama did Romneycare, the republican candidates have only one viable option:  lurch to the right.

        Dems need to stop listening to the strategists and try doing what's right for a change.  It may work, and if it doesn't, how much worse can things get than 2010?

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 10:14:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  he is us. nt (0+ / 0-)

      “I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter.” –Blaise Pascal

      by dskoe on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:06:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Carter was also the first president in modern (0+ / 0-)

      times to make a big show of his religion--to introduce religiosity as a prerequisite  for aspiring to higher office.

  •  Great Diary...I Tweeted this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David54

    What struck me and still does is the lack of success from Dems. The question is why and you answered by saying D's shayed away of what they believe b/c of FEAR.

  •  The image on the left of the banner is George Fox (7+ / 0-)

    the founder of Quakerism. Quakers were persecuted by the Puritans in America.

    Someone should have done better research.

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." Upton Sinclair via Al Gore; -6.62, -5.28

    by bluejeandem on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:51:04 AM PDT

  •  Poltroon, defined. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Subterranean

    pol·troon

    pol·troon (pol-tr?n?) noun
    A base coward: “Every moment of the fashion industry's misery is richly deserved by the designers . . . and magazine poltroons who perpetuate this absurd creation” (Nina Totenberg).

    [French poltron, from Old Italian poltrone, coward, idler perhaps augmentative of poltro, unbroken colt (from Vulgar Latin *pulliter, from Latin pullus, young animal) or from poltro, bed, lazy.]

    — pol·troon?er·y noun

    Excerpted from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition Copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products N.V., further reproduction and distribution restricted in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States. All rights reserved.
  •  Nice history lesson (0+ / 0-)

    I like the graphic too, did you put that together?

    I certainly agree with the conclusion.  I get the sense any more that the Democratic party is the party that doesn't agree with the Republicans, but has no core philosophy at all sometimes.

    Ignorance more frequently begets confidence then knowledge. Charles Darwin

    by martianexpatriate on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:54:47 AM PDT

  •  Not to mention (6+ / 0-)

    that in the context of the world at large, both major US political parties are quite a bit to the right of center. Cold War hostility to Communism (extended in the US to Socialism as well) played a part in this. In Europe and elsewhere the farther end of the left spectrum continued to be politically viable, either as stand-alone, usually minority parties or as an element within broad left-democratic parties.

  •  well done, Mark! (0+ / 0-)

    And the last para says it all.
    Fox was a great dissenter; I'm a fan.

    Life is a shipwreck. But we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats. — Voltaire

    by agrenadier on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:58:23 AM PDT

  •  Puritans and Quakers (7+ / 0-)

    Forgive me if this seems pedantic, but the figure in the heading with a broad-brimmed hat is a Quaker, not a Puritan. Not that a Quaker is inappropriate image for the point.  They are known for their forthrightness and honesty, and yes I know Dick Nixon was brought up a Quaker.  Above all they are known for the courage of their convictions, but they are not Puritans.  They were separatists who broke away from the Church of England rather than seeking to purify it, which was the aim of the Puritans.

  •  Recapturing working class white males was the.... (6+ / 0-)

    impetus behind the formation of the DLC and the turn to the "Right", this political strategy has failed and the best example of that failure is the ephemeral nature of Democratic majorities in Congress and the Senate since 1994. The bad arguments made within the Democratic Party that Vietnam, the "leftward drift" of the 60's and 70's, and "liberalism's failure," required a rethinking of the politics and social policy of the Democratic Party. That conclusion has created a muddled and stupid set of priorities within the Party that values winning over policy and bakes failure into the cake for progressives in the Party.

    If Democrats are nothing but "Republican Lite," a new brand for essentially the same beer, then failure to create an enduring governing majority is guaranteed. Adopting Republican think tank's ideas, re-branding them and selling them as "pragmatism" is the result of Clintonian triangulation and the Democratic Party politics of seeking power for power's sake. Why are we running former Republicans as Democrats and then wailing about them being "Conservadems," their conservatism is baked into the cake, why do we do it, because we don't want to build a real party. We don't want to educate, meet, train, and build party identification based on ideological commitment, we eschew "ideology," that's so passe- "movement politics," well unless the Democratic Party becomes a people's party with an identifiable ideology and general appeal, as it was in the 1930's through the 1960's, it will go the way of the Whigs.  

    "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

    by KJG52 on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:01:21 AM PDT

    •  Democrats owned that constituency. (4+ / 0-)

      At least when 'working class white males' meant union workers.

      The demise of the unions in the private sector weakened Democrats.

      The real enemy of the good is not the perfect, but the mediocre.

      by Orange County Liberal on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:06:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't forget that (5+ / 0-)

        the rise of the "Reagan Democrats" was borne of racism. trumping the economic self-interest of white male  working class voters--Reagan's "Welfare Queen" stories won them over by appealing to racial backlash against Affirmative Action, school busing, and real or perceived racial quotas meant to make up for centuries of racial oppression.

        These factors also fit hand-and-glove with the white working class' resentment of perceived weakness of our military following the loss of Vietnam. They ate up Reagan's militarism and aggressive foreign policy with spoons.

        The popularity of Reagan led directly to Democrats' willingness to move backwards in order to try and win back the loyalty of the "Reagan Democrats" but it was a failure from the get-go because when you give the wingnuts an inch they grab 10 miles and so we just slid backwards further, farther, and faster.

        Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

        by drewfromct on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:41:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The race for george Wallace democrats . . . (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          drewfromct, Subterranean

          A couple of quotes from the 1976 Presidential primary season.

          “I see nothing wrong with ethnic purity being maintained. I would not force a racial integration of a neighborhood by government action.” A few days later, questioned about this remark, Carter elaborated: “What I say is that the government ought not to take as a major purpose the intrusion of alien groups into a neighborhood simply to establish their intrusion.”

          From http://www.salon.com/...

          See the liberals or progressives constantly have to play second fiddle to the "centrists" or "realists' who understand how to play the game of politics.

          "The working class mind is strange and unpredictable" -- Ty Lookwell

          by Illinibeatle on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:51:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yes and No (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Subterranean, pimutant

        In the north, "white working class" meant union workers, and that was a group that the Democratic party did hold -- and it still does.

        But in the non-union south, the glue that held working class whites to the Democratic party was the blatant racism of the "Dixiecrats".  When those politicians bolted over to the Republican party, they took those souther working class white voters with them.  

        This is also something to consider when we complain about how the Democratic party has moved to the right over the past few decades.  From a northern perspective, that's true.  But from a southern perspective, the Democratic party has gotten far more liberal, because the Democratic party down here was mostly not very liberal.

        And you really have to include that migration of the Dixiecrats in any narrative regarding changes in the parties in recent decades -- the Republican move to the right was successful only because it allowed the Republican party to capture that formerly Democratic constituency in the south whose core was white racists.  The catch is that in the process the Republicans have also largely lost states that were once swing states (ie, Washington, California, Oregon).

        It's easy to say that the Democratic party needs to start shifting back to the left...but it is less than meaningful if that proposal isn't matched with some details as to which constituencies we'd be gaining, and which ones we'd be sacrificing.  Bottom line is that while I'd like to see a political shift to the left...I think that a strategy requires a discussion of which particular progressive issues to highlight, and what constituencies we'll put together using those issues to gain a stronger majority.

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 09:26:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And Democrats weakend unions in the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Orange County Liberal

        private sector.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 09:46:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Moderation in the defense of extremism IS a vice! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mayfly

    Onoez I made a Villager haz a sad!

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:03:54 AM PDT

  •  Superb. Absolutely Superb. (8+ / 0-)

    This is the kind of writing we should be seeing in the MSM; this is the kind of political analysis we should be hearing from talking heads -- if they had anything inside them except ideological loyalty.

    Once upon a time, we did read and hear about the fallacies of "electability" over seriousness in our candidates.  That was before corporate ownership of journalistic outlets silenced intelligent "opinionating" and investigative journalism, a crime as severe and dangerous to our democracy as election and voter fraud by Republicans is today.

    But because of this, we're left with Puritans and poltroons to consider as leaders of our democracy.  Because of the absence of reason and presence of branding, our choices are increasingly dominated by members of the lunatic fringe.

    It isn't the fiscal deficit that has this country poised on the abyss; it's the abuse of democracy in a largely corporate controlled Information Age.

    But that's another discussion.

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:07:43 AM PDT

  •  ignoring talk radio: biggest blunder in political (7+ / 0-)

    history, considering the time lost dealing with global warming.

    there's never been anything like 1000 very loud radio stations riding our universities' good names and blasting out and continuously repeating think tank-coordinated messaging to create made-to-order pro-corporate constituencies for any occasion, while those who were being lied about looked the other way.

    that's the way you move the perception of the center to the right.

    the left still has no organized opposition to the right's best weapon.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:15:20 AM PDT

    •  The problem is that... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Subterranean, pimutant

      ...liberal talk radio is a far less viable market position than is the right-wing counterpart that has proven to be so successful.

      Think of the Limbaugh fans who proudly proclaim themselves to be dittoheads and blandly repeat fact-free talking points from their favorite conservative talk show hosts.  And then consider how many progressives and liberals would be equally willing to listen to hours of drivel affirming what we already believe and then regurgitating it to everyone in sight without thought?  

      I think it is far, far fewer on the left who are willing to do that...and that translates into a lower potential audience share for liberal talk than for conservative talk...even in areas that are quite liberal (ie, San Francisco, Seattle).  I simply don't want to waste three hours of my life listening to the liberal version of a brain-dead right-wing talk show...and I think most of us feel the same way.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:47:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  so 95% of americans prefer RW radio? market forces (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mike101, TracieLynn

        did not determine this. limbaugh makes 400 mil plus bonuses because he sells clarence thomases, bushes, war, deregulation, and global warming denial. he didn't get that for his wit and wisdom selling flooring and penile enhancement formulas.

        the RW  bought up a monopoly while the left ignored it.

        progressive radio is not a left version of RW radio - the difference is huge. progressive talkers have plenty of material without lying. they take real calls. everything from stephanie miller to thom hartmann to mike malloy to randi rhodes to ed schultz.

        RW radio is monolithic- the messaging is controlled in large part by the same think tanks with a little individual flavor thrown in. few take real calls and regularly take paid callers. and they have a monopoly and they protect it- that's clear.

        most of the right's wins and the left's losses the last 20 years can be directly attributed to sustained coordinated  loud repetition that only RW radio can do. is completely ignored by the left until it shows up later in print or on fox- by then it's already been pounded into the earholes of 50 mil a week and it's usually too late. it has completely kicked the left's ass because it was invisible to them. it hurt their heads to listen to it and there has never been a searchable written record of what the main national and local talkers are saying or organized effort to monitor it. huge mistake.

        one local blowhard reading chamber of commerce talking points and taking regular guests from the heritage foundation cna undo the work of hundreds or thousands of concerned citizens donating a few hours or dollars here and there.

        and that will work in these elections too- for millions of votes.

         market forces wont solve this- that's a RW talking point. all the left has to do is know what they're repeating and who is being swiftboated, get up in front of the carnival barkers and yell back, and get our universities out of the RW radio business.

        This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

        by certainot on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 10:21:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're missing the point... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mike101
          so 95% of americans prefer RW radio?
          Um, no.  And I never claimed otherwise.

          The overwhelming majority of Americans have no desire to listen to any sort of political talk radio, whether right or left.  My suspicion is that an examination of the listenership for right wing talk stations would show that the cumulative listenership to these stations is 10% or less of the adult population.  The remaining 90% never listen to this stuff at all...but the 10% who do listen have it on pretty much constantly.  We've all had that experience of going to a location where a radio tuned to a local right-wing talker is droning away constantly (or a TV tuned to Fox News).

          And I don't think that most of the left consumes political opinion in the same manner as the right does.  Yes, you could try formatting a talk format to appeal to progressive listeners with thoughtful, intelligent, and fact-based talk.  I suspect that the cumulative listenership of such a format, if well-promoted, might well come close to what the conservative talkers are getting.  The difference is that few of us will leave it on for hours at a time, but will tune in for briefer periods of time.  And the net result will be a much lower average audience level.

          That progressives don't want to listen to hours and hours of talk radio doesn't impress me as a bad thing at all...but it does impact on the viability of a progressive talk format.

          Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

          by TexasTom on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 11:17:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  approx 15-25% get their news from talk radio (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TracieLynn

            according to polls done in recent years.

            it may be dropping off but in the die hards can influence less interested voters around them, especially if they use similar levels of certitude  as used by the RW talkers. that is all it takes to keep red states red and other states close.

            most parts of the US there are no free alternatives for politics current event and opinion while driving or working. in those areas people trying to get that info before going home to the family are sitting ducks. if there had been more balance, without the monopoly and the well designed propaganda campaigns, many  of those people easily might be listening to progressive radio instead. it's possible to read and blog while listening to music. in cars or work music might be preferred by many liberals but most have never had the chance to get their latest preferred politics from the radio.

            and besides those numbers RW radio's effect is much larger on media in general, deciding which candidates are acceptable to a community or state or country, and can dominate messaging, create 'conventional wisdom' and 'reality', intimidate and enable politicians and media with its screaming army of on call dittohead teabaggers (remember public option?). most of the lies and myths the right uses wouldn't be possible without the coordinated UNCHALLENGED repetition to a semi captive audience that only talk radio can do.

             progressive talkers have done well in head to head competition (where the big radio cos allow it). in blue areas, market forces or a complete dedication to music aren't what keeps progressive radio completely out while the the minority right wing crazies get their talkers on every corner. a lot of intelligent but lazy/apathetic music loving people are going to not vote or vote for romney because friends, family, or coworkers pass on RW talking points learned from radio and radio worshippers.

            richard myers and others working on limbaugh are making a dent but even if obama wins and dems get congress and keep senate right wing radio will continue to do huge damage to our democracy, enable the obstruction, and require compromises from Dems merely because the left continues to underestimate it and gives it a free speech free ride.

            This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

            by certainot on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 01:05:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Or to put it another way.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mike101, TexasTom

        "We will never have the elite, smart people on our side...."--Rick Santorum

        I have a right-wingnut friend who bombards his brain with faux news every waking moment: on his TV, on the radio, with his computer. I think the only relief from the incessant noise is a bit of computer news every now and again. I truly don't understand how he can bear it. I sure couldn't stand a constant barrage of political opinion from, say, Keith Olberman, Tweety, Rachel and so on. It would drive me nuts. I need to hear music, to read books about all sorts of things, to watch British mysteries on PBS, to look at art, to hear news about the rest of the world, to talk about science and technology, to see the occasional movie, and so on. I may read Daily Kos every day, but I also read science blogs, tech blogs, skeptical blogs, and general news from the BBC to the New York Times. Not to mention the Civil War Daily Gazette, and the latest news from Cupertino....

        If your internal map of reality doesn't match external conditions, bad things happen.--Cambias

        by pimutant on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 11:25:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That type of person has a real need to keep their (0+ / 0-)

          emotions pumped up. It gives them something to feel. Anger is probably the easiest emotion to feel...the world is imperfect and there is always something that is not how it should be. These easily led listeners are getting something they NEED and the sellers are all getting what they need- potential sales income and political followers.

          -- We are just regular people informed on issues

          by mike101 on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 12:00:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  "Chasing republicans is good politics"... (6+ / 0-)

    is not necessarily true.

    The health insurance mandate is widely unpopular, and is a fundamentally conservative approach to healthcare.

    What's wrong under Republicans is still wrong under Democrats.

    by gila on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:16:11 AM PDT

    •  My suspicion is... (0+ / 0-)

      ...that it will become far less unpopular once it actually takes effect and everyone discovers that virtually no one is going to be paying the fine.

      It's also the only way that we were going to get anything approximating universal health care in this country.  The sad thing is that we could have had it forty years ago if Democrats had been willing to compromise with Nixon on universal health care 40 years ago.  Instead, they held out for something better...and just wasted 40 years in the process, instead.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:50:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think that it will be an unmanaged (0+ / 0-)

        out of control system that will eventually bring in single payer. But people will suffer before that happens and that could have been avoided. The Irish health care system is semiprivate. The  major health insurer is regulated by the government and spends 97% of its revenue on health care directly. Only 3% on administration costs. But in these hard times people are dropping their coverage like crazy and relying on the public health sector. Which is under pressure from budget cuts mandated by the EU. Result - Ireland is creeping towards single payer. But people are getting hurt in the meanwhile. Ireland's system is less socialized than the UK, or Germany, or France. More like Switzerland.

        Nixon supported many positive antipoverty programs. Social spending went up significantly under Nixon. He supported a national health care system and a guarenteed annual income program. But he was also up against the AMA and the Republican party as well. And back then the AMA was similar to the NRA of today. They got their way.

  •  Voodoo economics (6+ / 0-)

    Lest we forget how far to the right we have careened, It was George Herbert Walker Bush who first labeled Reagan's supply side trickle down ideas as 'voodoo economics.'

    It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

    by se portland on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:24:44 AM PDT

  •  Good piece. (4+ / 0-)

    Mindbogglingly, most liberal positions enjoy overwhelming public support

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:27:30 AM PDT

  •  Thank You - N/T (0+ / 0-)

    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:30:52 AM PDT

  •  Rec'ed. & saved to read later (0+ / 0-)

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:34:47 AM PDT

  •  I'm of the opinion (4+ / 0-)

    that if Obama stood up and said he'd veto any cuts to SS or Medicare he'd win in a landslide.  The only reason a complete tool like Romney is even close is the bank bailout and deficit cutting baggage Obama has built up over the last four years.

    •  But he will not veto these cuts. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Williston Barrett, mike101

      He believes that some cuts are necessary to achieve his "Grand Bargain". Sometime he thinks that the President is the chief negioator in Congress. Like he was in the Illinois legislature. He is more interested in making a deal than in the aspects of the deal itself.

  •  2 reasons (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fdrobama, drewfromct, Subterranean

    1. Money comes from different sources and policy follows the money.
    2. Now is a time of relative conservative ascendance, as the 60s and 70s were a time of relative liberal ascendance. During the liberal ascendance, conservatives took fairly moderate positions out of necessity. But now, while they are powerful, we can see the cracks in the conservative edifice, the rumblings of a new progressive populist movement, and demographic shifts favoring Democrats on the way. It is the nature of human political institutions to keep to what has worked in the past until long past time they have proved untenable.

    E Pluribus Unum does NOT mean "every man for himself"

    by Daddy Love on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:38:51 AM PDT

    •  A third reason would be the ending of the Cold War (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Subterranean, mike101, TracieLynn

      The ideological war during the Cold War era was that of communism vs. capitalism, and the GOP was often willing to compromise in order to make capitalism "softer" so they could, as they believed, save it. There was real fear among the GOP that would could get pushed in a communist economic system, or even a European socialist system.

      Once the Cold War started winding down the GOP felt free to assert more pure capitalist stances; and with the utter collapse of communism and the fall of the USSR, all the restrictions and compromises needed to save capitalism were out the window. It was time to revert to "pure" capitalism.

  •  Putting progressives to Congress (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewfromct

    is the electoral strategy, it would seem. We don't have a progressive President, no matter how we might wish it so. We have a Democratic President whose feet could be held to the fire by progressives, but as Mr. Sumner writes above, we seem adverse to doing so, so happy are we that one of our party is in the White House at all.

  •  CBS Sunday Morning - Liberal versus Conservative (6+ / 0-)

    This morning October 28, two of their regular commentators took turns explaining why they were A) Liberal or B) Conservative.

    The video isn't up yet, but I'll give my impressions. Nancy Giles went first, proudly proclaiming she's a Liberal. She began with clips of conservatives loudly denouncing liberalism, and then went on to illustrate what liberalism is really about. Using dictionary definitions, she talked about concepts like diversity, tolerance, kindness, fairness, and how those translated into policies that everyone has taken advantage of at least once. These were illustrated with video cuts showing a range of people and places all across the country.

    Ben Stein proclaimed why he is a Conservative. He began by noting that unlike most of his fellows, he thinks we should raise taxes to get our financial house in order, along with cutting spending. Fiscal responsibility in other words. He then went into the other reason he's a conservative - fear of Big Government. He  used Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia as examples of Big Government gone out of control. No, I'm not kidding. The Full Godwin, along with heartbreaking shots of the Holocaust, etc. He threw in lots of patriotic imagery too - the Capitol, the flag, and so on. His message boiled down to two concepts: money and fear.

    However well you might think either did explaining their choice, the differences between the two were pretty clear.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:02:11 AM PDT

    •  Power is Power (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bmcphail, xaxnar, mike101, TracieLynn

       Someone should tell Mr. Stein that if you shrink government, something will rush in to fill the vacuum. In our case, Big Government has been and is being replaced by Big Business. The difference is that our government is at least ostensibly responsible to We The People while Big Business is responsible only to the Bottom line.

      There will always be power. What matters most is keeping a check on power, keeping it responsible and accountable. That is only possible in a strong democracy. We presently have a nation of 300 million being governed by 535 people. That's not representative, and it sure as hell isn't democracy. Add to that the fact that those 535 are required to raise and spend millions of dollars every other year in order to get jobs that pay $174k. That's nothing more than a recipe for corruption.

      Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

      by drewfromct on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:48:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A conservative like Ben Stein would not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar

      make it very far today if he were running for office under the R banner... His first statement would automatically disqualify him from being nominated.

      If there is one guiding principle that conservatives share today, it is that taxes are the source of all evil. If you want to shrink government, as Stein professes, then you have to cut taxes. Coming out and saying you are for raising taxes is like admitting you are a child molester to the conservative base.

      "The press just doesn’t know how to handle flat-out untruths," ~Paul Krugman

      by Nimbus on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:52:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Amen. I do believe, however, that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Subterranean, pimutant

    the electorate is more liberal/progressive than usually given credit when queried on issues described honestly and free of labels (single payer, initial reactions to both Iraq war preparations, guns, etc.). If you ask someone, do you want the healthcare advocated by the most liberal elected officials or give an impartial description/explanation of single payer you'll get different answers. It's the labels, preconceptions and posturing that kill. Progressive ideas/positions are superior and when well described are generally recognized as such. But the pitch must be maintained,  the other side has more money to spread their lies.

    I remember back in 1991, it seemed the GOP owned the Whitehouse and Democrats might never get back in. So picking someone moderate and business friendly seemed the wise course (it may still have been) at the time. But it's different now thanks to demographics and unrepentant Rethug nuttiness. Does anyone, anyone at all, expect to see a rise of or turn to a moderate form of Republican after this election? I don't imagine so, outside of David Brooks' unspoken of dreamtime.

    The socially liberal but fiscally conservative/neo-liberal/catfood Democrats need a reminder that the first civil right is a full belly. And that all of the social gains made in the later half of the twentieth century were built upon the earlier victories of labor/Keynesian economics/post-War boom that provided the spare time and money to help people press for the later issues. If we lose that bedrock, all is gone and we're headed toward the feudal lands of Patrones.

    I don't run across his name being bandied about for 2016 potential candidates, but what about Sen. Sherrod Brown? He's certainly as progressive as one could hope for without any of the coastal big-city (Note: Not a slight. I'm NYC born, LA transplant. Just keeping it real.) baggage. Could that be why so much of the Rove/Armey/Koch dark money is arrayed against him? More than just the Senate seat, Ohio has a long habit of producing presidents and to start out with that state in your pocket would make for a formidable candidacy.

    I just flushed my Ronald Wilson Reagan Exclusive Economic Zone. Whaddya know, trickle down theory actually works somewhere.

    by cal2010 on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:06:04 AM PDT

  •  Worth repeating. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewfromct, enhydra lutris, Bisbonian
    Progressives don't want to believe that the nation has become more conservative, but it has.  Democrats made it that way.
    A nation of two parties: Republican and Republican-lite.

    The real enemy of the good is not the perfect, but the mediocre.

    by Orange County Liberal on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:11:55 AM PDT

  •  I think what happened is fairly simple. About (0+ / 0-)

    1980, this country made a sharp right turn. The reasons aren't so important, but the simple fact is that progressive/liberal values weren't any longer winners on national tickets (or certain local ones, either). So I can understand the desire of professional politicians to move rightward in order to save their jobs. Unfortunately, it was a mistake of the first magnitude for the country. Far, far better had it been if we would had stood on principle and lost a few elections - badly - than turn into the milktoast moderates that tried to hang onto Republican coattails. We may have gotten trounced a few times, but at least we would have come out of that with our principles intact and without anyone questioning what the Donkey brand stood for.

    If you ask me, what we need to do more of is changing hearts and minds. This really is a fairly conservative country, and rather than worrying how to pretend that we're that, too, we need to convince people that the conservative way hasn't worked and won't work. We had a golden opportunity when George W Bush ran the country off the rails, but we blew it by letting the narrative take hold that the problems he caused were due to his personal shortcomings rather than his conservative philosophy.

    But thanks for a good diary. I hope it serves as a wake-up call!

    I believe that in every country the people themselves are more peaceably and liberally inclined than their governments. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by Blue Knight on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:12:27 AM PDT

  •  Des Moines Register endorsed Romney... First (0+ / 0-)

    Republican endorsement since 1972, I understand.   Governing from the center in a futile attempt to appeal to the right . . . Centrism fail.

    I can’t decide who’s cuter – the dead guy with the arrows in his chest, or the guy in the ditch with the seeping wound. -- Game of Thrones (Heard on Set)

    by prodigal on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:13:26 AM PDT

  •  I would argue (3+ / 0-)

    it's also not the time to embrace even more authoritarian and unnacountable powers in national security. Yet that's what our president has done, and almost the entire Democratic party has not only gone along with this, but used the same reasoning as defenders of Bush Inc. A very sad state of things, to say the least.

    Never be deceived that the rich will permit you to vote away their wealth. - Lucy Parsons

    by cruz on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:13:43 AM PDT

  •  I think this post is correct... but... (0+ / 0-)

    somewhat dated... if only very, very recently.

    Let me ask... what was it that made the Democratic Convention this year so good, so successful?

    How did it diverge from what you accurately describe above of the Democratic approach these last 30 years?

    My take of this years Democratic Convention is that it signaled an end to "Republican-lite" and the beginning of a new proudly and unapologetic Democratic approach to politics. Biden's VP debate was much the same.

    What I saw was Democratic leadership not defining itself as "yeah, us too" but rather as being in stark contrast and proud to present it. What we saw in Romnmney's foreign policy debate was "yeah, me too."

    I think we are far from the job being done but I do very much think that we have witnessed the turning point and that the Democratic Party will once again stand proudly for its own values and on its own feet rather than as "not different than the other guys."

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:13:49 AM PDT

    •  It's a nice, warm idea...but we've got the same (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TJ

      Leadership, the same moneyed interests, while the progressive forces (unions) grow ever weaker.  If you can look at the last two years of Wisconsin, and fiscal cliffs, and e white houses's sloppy pursuit of the Grand Bargain and see victory nascent in a pep rally... More power to you.   I hope you are right.  I'm not a believer any more.

      I can’t decide who’s cuter – the dead guy with the arrows in his chest, or the guy in the ditch with the seeping wound. -- Game of Thrones (Heard on Set)

      by prodigal on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:23:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not denying any of that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        prodigal, Nimbus, mike101

        nor thinking it'll be all lollipops and puppy dogs from here on out. The corporate hold on significant portions of the Democratic Party and its leadership is very strong.

        But I did see a very different tone to the message coming out of the convention and the party as a whole... one we haven't seen a many, many years... and I can't help but think that the pendulum swing of politics has peaked to one side and is beginning its swing back the other way again.

        "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:29:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You think those that led the Spanish Inquisition (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewfromct

    cared what the majority of people thought? Nope, they were on a mission from GOD.

    Same with the fuckwit modern "conservative" republican.

    Vote Tea Party Taliban! Bring the Burqa to America.

    by Pescadero Bill on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:15:52 AM PDT

  •  The best way to think (0+ / 0-)

    of politicians is to think of a consumer.  They are going to buy what they think will work.  

    The losses in '72,'80 and '84 haunt this party like the Demon from Paranormal.  It is all well and good to say this is good policy: but to politicians whose primary interest is their own interest, this is a tougher case to make.  

    At its core, there is a larger ideological problem that we pretend does not exist.  The rising growth of inequality and the decline in living standards for the middle class is primarily a result of globalization.  There does not exist in my opinion a clear answer to this issue, or perhaps better put, a clear answer that is within the mainstream of the economics profession.  Economists believe in free trade the way a devout Catholic believes in the Trinity.  

    So we are reduced to policies that will help, but are inadequate in scale to the scope of the problem.  Better Education - great.  More infastructure spending: all for it.  Neither policy will come close to addressing the core issue: and I think everyone knows it.

    The most revealing part of the debates was the discussion over China: it was telling Romney essentially went to Obama's left.  It is the only place where he hsa done so.

    A progressive agenda has to begin with serious policies that will help address a world in which jobs for at least half the population pay less than they used to and have fewer benefits.  The traditional progressive answer really doesn't cut it: people want jobs that they can raise a family on, and while rasing taxes on the rich is great, it isn't close to an economic agenda.

    So our consumer politician doesn't have a good choice at the check out counter.

    The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

    by fladem on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:18:14 AM PDT

    •  The answer to globalization (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mike101

      is to revive tariffs. We need massive and punitive tariffs on all goods and services imported from nations that refuse to meet or exceed our standards for the protection of workers, consumers, and the environment. Only the global elite, the very richest of the very rich, are winners as the rest of us Race To The Bottom.

      Tariffs are our only defense against being forced to compete in a rigged game on an unlevel playing field against slave laborers who work in hellish conditions producing toxic products.

      Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

      by drewfromct on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:52:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No more (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chris Jay

    Shifts to the right because the GOP is now moving into the Taliban territory with their radical rightwing nonsense. We have all seen what the Taliban has done in Afghanistan and mist recently to women eg see the case of the school girl Malala shot in he head. We have to stop this on Nov 6th 2012 else all of us will be forced into wearing teabags on our head.

  •  We have complained about the lack of spine (0+ / 0-)

    in democrats. We have seen where forward thinking folks like Howard Dean really get it. That we need to make the dems into a nationwide party and not a regional party. And Dean's 50 state efforts paid off in '08 and then he was "retired". And now we are back to the "swing states". AND we are battling with lies and spin and the etch a sketch and the unlimited tidal waves of billionaires for buying America. And the dems have still not:
    1) capitalized on the grass roots they mobilized for voting. Do they think that voting is the be all and end all?
    2) put the culprits of the previous era on trial for blowing up the economy and ignoring our laws. Do they think laws are just a sometime thing?
    3) put a vision together for where we want to world and ourselves to be in 5 10 15 years. Really? All this intellectual talent and we have problems with vision?'
    4) been unafraid to tout what they have done and what they want to do. 2010 was a rout because of this. We could have been proud instead of cowed.

    American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

    by glitterscale on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:44:32 AM PDT

  •  As long as Americans think it is "cool" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bisbonian, mike101

    to not have health care, that we are under attack and need to spend trillions to protect our interests around the world, that the ultra-rich are an elevated species and deserve extra-special treatment of tax breaks, and state supplied welfare can go in unlimited quantities to corporations but not to supply a safety net to poor folks, we are screwed. These attitudes take a continuous barrage of media propaganda and a poor educational system.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:48:45 AM PDT

  •  The country has become more liberal, not more... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Williston Barrett

    ...conservative.

    Progressives don't want to believe that the nation has become more conservative, but it has. Democrats made it that way.
    No, it hasn't and no they didn't. Democratic politicians and the MSM have become more conservative. Voters have not.
    The truth is that higher taxes on the wealthy and increased regulation of banks and corporations is necessary not to please a polity, but to save the country.
    These are also the most popular positions politically, if you look at the country instead of the narrow spectrum espoused by the politcial Parties and the beltway press.

    When it comes to your analysis of the actions of the political parties, I couldn't agree more. But when a solid majority of voters want a public option, or higher taxes on the wealthy or gun control, or access to abortion and contraception, or an end to DADT, or an end to the war in Iraq or an end to the war in Afghanistan, or action on climate change, you have a country that has become more liberal.

    And it isn't "moderate" to stake out a position to the right of where most voters are. It's conservative.

    •  I don't even know what "conservative" means (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cstark

      anymore and it seems some "conservative" voters don't know much about conservative tradition either. Both parties have become very difficult to define these days and I suspect many who idolize Reagan would be surprised to know that his views on taxation (with respect to distribution) echo Elizabeth Warren's views. Short video here shows the two side by side: https://www.youtube.com/...

      •  It means "Batshit crazy" (0+ / 0-)

        Or at least that's what it seems to me like it means. The Democrats could and should go from "We suck less" to "At least we're not insane".

        "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

        by MargaretPOA on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 10:36:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  For about 90% of them, it means tax cuts (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mike101

        and for about half of them it means theocracy, which the rest go along with because they think their economic status will shield them from it.  "If my wife needs an abortion, she can always fly to Europe."

        •  I hear you, but seriously now, how can 90% (0+ / 0-)

          believe they are really going to get tax cuts when the great majority who don't use swiss bank accounts are funding wars and bailouts jump-started by one of their own leaders? (I guess the poster above you would suggest this question has been answered)

  •  brilliant essay! (0+ / 0-)

    this assessment of the state of our two parties was objective and spot on. Yes, I'm an old liberal, and will be voting against Romney more than i will be voting for Obama. His compromises are more capitulation. Gitmo is open, the Patriot Act still in effect, and the Bush tax cuts extended. I will abstain from voting in my congressional election because our so-called Democratic candidate (Walz, MN 1st)  is a yellow/blue dog. Ex. he voted to censure Atty Gen'l Holder.

  •  And the sell-out continues apace: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TJ, Bisbonian
    Under Bush, economic inequality was bad, as 65 cents of every dollar of income growth went to the top 1 percent. Under Obama, however, that number is 93 cents out of every dollar. That’s right, under Barack Obama there is more economic inequality than under George W. Bush.

    The Progressive Case Against Obama

    And just consider how the holdings favored by the wealthy such as stocks have fared since the crash versus owners of homes wherein resided the bulk of wealth held by average citizens.

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 09:13:20 AM PDT

  •  pepper (0+ / 0-)

    you are exactly right!

    if one says salt and another says less salt you will never ever get pepper.

    the republicans are leading us away from a real productive country-wide community, they are engaged in the politics of divisiveness and hate. they are addicted to selfishness and we are enablers. the preamble to the constitution was our mission statement, rinse, repeat! it is not we, the people, its 'you people' are the problem!!

     We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

  •  Yes! (0+ / 0-)
    In a sort of Zeno's Paradox of Politics, halfway to the Republicans is a point that's constantly shifting away, and reaching it requires ever more compromise of the original Democratic position.
    As the Red Queen told Alice, you have to run very fast to stand still. You must sprint to the right to stand still relative to the GOP, or sprint leftward relative to the GOP to stand still relative to the true political center.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 09:29:15 AM PDT

  •  The Democrats ceded the argument long ago. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TJ, wonmug

    But I don't know what it will take to make the party establishment realize that behaving like Republicans will not win one single conservative vote but will instead only piss off the Democratic base and cause them to stay home. Even the bloodbath the blue dogs took in 2010 hasn't done that. I've often said that even the Democratic Party can't get me to vote for a conservative candidate. The party seems myopic to the point of blindness on this. Remember what Truman said. (see below)

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 10:21:46 AM PDT

  •  if only there was a democratic wing of the party.. (0+ / 0-)
    Democrats should not hold progressive positions because they are fashionable, we should be progressives because progressive policy works. The've been proven to work time and time again. Furthermore, conservative policy has been a failure. It failed this time, last time, and every time.

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 11:57:44 AM PDT

  •  Democrats debased their populist brand (0+ / 0-)

    by catering to the whims of elites, much like Republicans do.

    "We don't need someone who can think. We need someone with enough digits to hold a pen." ~ Grover Norquist

    by Lefty Coaster on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 12:16:04 PM PDT

  •  damn! great diary. needed to be said, & said (0+ / 0-)

    very well.  thanks mark.

  •  There's no populism anymore, unfortunately (0+ / 0-)

    The Democrats are the socially liberal wing of the Big Business Party. That's not to say there's no difference between the parties or that social liberalism isn't important, but I doubt we'll ever get a populist major party candidate again.

    I mean seriously, the media crucifies Obama as a "socialist" because he wants to give billionaires a miniscule tax increase. The fix is in.

  •  I would just hope that (0+ / 0-)

    the whole party could get this message but that we could come to this realization in a civil and productive way without demonizing and hurting some well meaning members. I do wish people would stop hearing "liberal" as an insult or a weakness.

  •  Well, I just wanted to point out that in this (0+ / 0-)

    election, President Obama's position is that we do have to increase taxes on the wealthy, while keeping the tax cuts for the middle class and that we do have to have regulation of the banking industry, and that we do have to invest in education, clean energy, and infrastructure and that we do have to ask the wealthy to pay a little more in order to pay for those investments.  So while I would have agreed with the diary at one time, I think there's a change now.

  •  I saw this diary yesterday, but didn't have (0+ / 0-)

    a chance to comment at the time. I'd been thinking for some time that Democrats are as much responsible for moving the Overton Window to the right as Republicans. We have allowed ourselves to be cowed by accusations of being knee-jerk liberals. The right wing noise machine has made liberal such a dirty word that we've adopted the label of progressive to avoid the stigma.

    It's time we started creating some stigma, not for fanciful "wrongs," but for actual ones. The crashing of the economy and the looting of the country by Wall Street, Global Warming, pollution (of which fracking is the latest horror), the war on women, all these issues are egregious and blame should be laid at the feet of the neo-cons who have perpetrated and perpetuated them.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 12:17:17 PM PDT

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